I recently visited the Oregon Museum of Science and Industry in Portland, with an emphasis on “industry.” Housed in a former power-plant, there were many opportunities for visitors to actually build things. From 3D-printers to shake-tables for earthquake testing block towers, there was plenty for young makers to enjoy.

Compared with my recollections of (many, many) hours spent in science museums during my youth, I felt that there was a greatly reduced emphasis on simply observing, as opposed to doing.

Perhaps in an era of instant access to YouTube, simply watching a video or demonstration on a scientific principle is no longer a compelling enough reason to make the trip. Since knowledge is freely available, what is valuable is the ability to create something new. The museum gift-shop offered tools for budding programmers to learn to code.

Author: lnemzer

Associate Professor Nova Southeastern University

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